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Letter: We must be an agent of change to fight against pollution

I would like to bring attention the growing problem of pollution caused by coal based energies. The United States needs to move to a cleaner form of energy to reduce all types of pollution. The energy our country uses causes great damage to our environment by the various surface mining that is needed to dig the coal from the earth. This digging is causing extensive damage to our natural environments including: habitat destruction and deforestation. This causes animals to lose their homes and the loss of habitat will continue for the next hundred years as the area will only be able to host exotic grasses and plants.

This is not the only problem that coal-based energy causes as it is the main source of air pollution in our nation. This air pollution not only causes plants to wilt, but also is directly linked to various diseases in humans.

The number one disease caused by this pollution is various cancers, especially of the lung. Of the 243,915 diagnosis of lung cancer each year, three-fifths will die.

Air Pollution also has smaller effects on one's health including: shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, and stinging of the eyes. Smog (air pollution) is the source of another major health hazard, acid rain. Acid rain is a condition that the United States has been facing since the 1940s when it fell upon Los Angeles. The experience the citizens of LA felt was similar to the symptoms of a nuclear bomb. These problems still face the US affecting 60 percent of cities, according to ABC News.

Some say that clean energy is a problem for the government to solve, but we the people can do something. We can reduce pollution in our area through: cleaning of liter, carpooling to reduce gas emissions, and appealing to our legislative bodies to fix this problem.

By doing these simple everyday tasks we can fix our habits on our own and make a dent in the calamity pollution causes to our nation. The United States needs to move to a cleaner form of energy to reduce all types of pollution, and you are the agent of change for our nation's fight against pollution all you have to do is accept it.

Banken lives in Breckenridge, Minn.